How To Make Your Ecommerce Company Stand Out In A Sea Of Competitors
There are so many ways that businesses fail to show their unique value to their target audience and differentiate themselves.
1) They say too little
It is no longer enough to offer a broad value proposition with unspecific features or benefits. We all remember that corporate mission statements of the 90s where every company promised to deliver “value” to their clients. In today’s information age, shallow statements like this don’t hold any clout in the eyes of the consumers. You need to say more to communicate your value to your target audience.
2) They say too much
But now we also see the opposite problem for many ecommerce companies. They overwhelm their clients with in depth information on every feature and detail of their product to the point of exhaustion. This also doesn’t work to differentiate yourself from the competition. The key is to focus on benefits, the problem that you solve for clients, not a list of features.
3) They are blinded by their own product
If you suffer from being blinded by your own product, you likely don’t think that you have any competitors. Your product is so unique, bordering on other-wordly, that you don’t need to “differentiate.” You are so obviously different that no thought goes into competition or substitutes to your product. This is a mistake. There are always other options to your product or solution, so make sure to give enough thought and respect to the other companies in your industry.
4) They aren’t targeted
Some companies claim that their product is for everyone! It isn’t. You need to pick a customer and target their specific needs and pain points. You simply cannot be everything to everyone.
So what does work to differentiate yourself?
It’s All About Your Brand
In the past, it may have worked to differentiate on your product alone. But today, product is too easily and too quickly copied. And sure, imitation may be the greatest form of flattery. It’s obvious that you’re doing something right if people are knocking off your product…but it also creates a huge business challenge.
There is a huge downside to being the market leader or the first to pioneer an industry.
Look at Yeti. Yeti started out as a premium cooler brand, with an unparalleled product. Quickly they were ripped off by Rtic who created a complete copy of their product and offered it at half the price.
NOTE: In the end Rtic had to back off on it’s direct rip off of Yeti due to a law suit, but you get the point.
Remember Tivo? They revolutionized the way people watch TV with their ability to pause and rewind live TV, only to be largely displaced by cable companies providing the same functionality at a lower cost in conjunction with their cable plans.
So what are people really looking for when shopping an ecommerce store?
When shopping, customers are looking to solve a pain point. And they don’t always necessarily know what they need. They just know their pain.
Like Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” And we wouldn’t have had the automobile.
It’s your responsibility to communicate to your customers how you solve their pain, how their lives will be made better with your product, your brand, by their side. That is what will set you apart.
Your product can never be your barrier to entry.
You cannot rely on your product to be what sets you apart, at least not in the long run. This is why your differentiation from the competition needs to be so much deeper than just your product. It needs to be your brand. This is what keeps customers coming back to your company again and again even when the competition matches your product. They can copy your product, but the cannot copy your brand. They cannot replace the emotional connection or the relationship that you build with your customers.